New figures reveal nearly 1,000 people died with Covid in the Anglia region in the final fortnight of 2020

Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

New data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that 946 people died with coronavirus in the Anglia region in the two weeks ending on New Year's Day.

Over the course of the pandemic during 2020 a total of 8,903 people died in the Anglia region after a positive test of Covid-19 or with the condition mentioned on their death certificate.

The figures from the ONS, which cover the whole of 2020 plus New Year's Day, are provisional and are likely to increase because of delays in registrations over the Christmas period.

Since the start of 2021, the Care Quality Commission has reported a further 113 care home residents have died with coronavirus and the NHS has reported 750 more patients have died in hospital. So the total number of people dying in the Anglia region during the pandemic has now reached 9,766.

The number of coronavirus deaths reported each week in the Anglia region since the beginning of November Credit: Data from the Office of National Statistics

Nationally the new figures that more deaths were registered in England and Wales in 2020 than in any year since 1918 at the end of the First World War.

Some 608,002 deaths were registered between January 1 and December 31, according to the provisional data from the ONS.

This is higher than in any calendar year since 1918, the year of the “Spanish flu”, when 611,861 deaths were registered.

However, changes in the age and size of the population mean this is not a like-for-like comparison.

The population in England and Wales in 1918 stood at 34 million, compared with around 60 million today. This means that proportionately more people died in 1918 than in 2020.

The number of people who have died with Covid-19 in each county in the Anglia region since the start of the pandemic Credit: Data from the NHS, Office of National Statistics and the Care Quality Commission

In Essex, nearly 3,000 have lost their lives to Covid-19 and Bedfordshire has had the highest number of deaths per head of population with 147 people dying in every 100,000.

The lowest death rate in the Anglia region has been in Cambridgeshire with 82 deaths per 100,000.

A fifth of coronavirus deaths in the region have occurred in care homes with 1,800 care homes residents dying during 2020. More than 6,500 people died in hospital and 343 died in their own homes.

The weekly total of coronavirus deaths in the Anglia region throughout the pandemic Credit: Data from the Office of National Statistics

Sarah Caul, ONS head of mortality analysis, said: “Comparing today’s numbers to the 20th century and late 19th century doesn’t help understand the current mortality patterns.

“For the best comparisons, we really need to look at age-standardised mortality rates.

“The population has changed and grown over time, so in many respects you’d expect the number of deaths to have increased.

“Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) take into consideration both the population size and age structure, allowing us to compare over time. You would expect more deaths in a population with more old people, and ASMRs even out the population differences so that you compare like with like.”

Figures for age-standardised mortality rates in England and Wales only go back to 1981, when the number stood at 1,666.5 deaths per 100,000 population.

The equivalent rate for England and Wales in 2020 is estimated to be 1,043.5 deaths per 100,000 population, according to provisional ONS data.

This would be the highest mortality rate since 2008.